Monday, February 4, 2019

RC2019/03 -- Open for Entrants!

It's about that time of year again! Who is ready for another round of RetroChallenge?!?!?!

Entries Accepted

If you plan to join us in the RC2019/03 competition, now is the time to make yourself known. Feel free to refer to our "RetroChallenge Rules" page for reminders, but the basics are "do something interesting with an old computer, and blog about it for month". Please note that microcontrollers now qualify under similar conditions to video game consoles (i.e. made in the previous century).

Whatever you are going to do, please send me an email describing:
  1. Your name (or alias);
  2. Your picture (or I'll find something online);
  3. Your Twitter handle (if applicable);
  4. Your blog location (for project updates); and
  5. A brief synopsis of your project.
I will produce an entrants list that looks a bit like the one from RC2018/09, so use that as a guide for the level of information needed. Please send the information requested above to me via email to linville at tuxdriver dot com -- figuring-out how to decode that address is your first test...

Get Things Rolling!

Well, then, that's all for now -- just about 3.5 weeks until the start of the competition! Currently I do not have any prize donations to announce, but I am hopeful as always that our retro-oriented friends will come through with some great prize offerings. Don't worry! Remember, the competition is it's own reward... :-)

Anyway, get your entry to me, order your parts, and make any necessary preparations. March will soon be here!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

RC2018/09 -- Results!

All doubts aside -- we now have results to announce for the RC2018/09 event!


Many thanks are due to Michai Ramakers for his assistance with the judging. Michai is primarily responsible for the comments on the projects for RC2018/09, leaving me to handle the clerical work and to render the final judgments. Without Michai's help, this round's results would likely be even more delayed -- no one would want that!

So, with no further ado...the winners that I have selected for RC2018/09 are (in no particular order):

  • Cole Johnson
  • Pim van Tend
  • Mats Engstrom
I felt that these projects were the best in this round at demonstrating technical skill while also providing useful and entertaining presentation of each projects progress. Well done!


I am offering lightly used copies the following three books from my own collection as tokens of appreciation to the Winners listed above:
If you are a winner, please contact me (linville at tuxdriver dot com) with your delivery address and your book preferences in numbered order, ASAP. Hopefully that gets the books to those that will want to read them...

Honorable Mentions
  • Tom Raidna
  • Raphael Assenat
  • Davy Mitchell
In addition to the prize winners, I felt it necessary to name a few in the "honorable mention" category. Honestly, there were a lot of great projects this time around. There were also remarkably few drop-outs (other than me) -- great effort all around!


If you haven't had a chance yet, then please go check-out the entrants list to see the comments from Michai (and a few from me). Really, this was a great round of RetroChallenge. Was it the best round ever? Maybe, or maybe not. The next round will be RC2019/03 in March -- I guess you'll just have to stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tabulation Delays

It's been two weeks -- where are the results? Is John napping again?? Well...

Not Exactly

There was the usual initial grace period for allowing slow finishers to, well, finish. After a few days I also got some helpful comments from Michai in order to aid the judging. Beyond that...yes, I was a bit slow and lazy...but there was also this Super Secret Awesome Work Project that pinned me down a bit, plus a few normal life events, etc.

That Blows

Oh, and the remnants of a hurricane came through the area and knocked-out electrical power and normal Internet access. Don't worry, no one was hurt and it was mostly just a big inconvenience. We have a gasoline-fired generator for powering modern conveniences (like the well pump), so we got to burn a few gallons of gasoline by keeping food frozen and the lights on. Fortunately the weather was comfortable too. Nevertheless, it was a bit rougher than my soft, first-world family would have liked!

Hopefully everyone can forgive me for getting a bit further behind on the RC2018/09 judging. Don't worry, I'm still on it... ;-)

Monday, October 1, 2018

RC2018/09 Checkered Flag

OK, September has come and gone. Hopefully everyone got a good opportunity to enjoy some retrocomputing time and if not...well, there will be another event in March... :-)

Checkered Flag

The competition is over for now. So relax, pour yourself a nice beverage, and enjoy a little break. If you are like me, that will probably lead to some rethinking and second-guessing about various aspects of your project. But that's OK -- you can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave...

If you need another 24 hours or so to finish your write-ups then take it. I probably won't start the big review for another day or two. I expect that Michai will provide me with his own comments, and I'll invite anyone that would like to privately comment on the projects to feel free to send those comments to me soon. I hope to be a bit more timely with the judging this time than last time, but it will still likely be roughly a week or more before I finish. So, check back here starting then.

Competitors, Thanks!

Of course, I would like to thank all of our competitors for volunteering to share their projects in order to entertain us all. Hopefully we are also advancing the retrocomputing hobby and building the interest in the history and preservation of these ancient idols of technology. Let's hope so, anyway! Oh, and stay tuned...

Saturday, September 29, 2018

RC2018/09 -- Final Lap!

Tick, tock!

Soon you will have less than 24 hours to complete your RetroChallenge project...

Are you done? Have you finished documenting your magnum opus?

You need to get on it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

RC2018/09 Halftime Report

Time marches on, and once again I find myself halfway through a RetroChallenge event with (almost) nothing to show for myself. I did manage to let my truth-seeking engage me in a really dumb argument in defense of a simple fact, and I also found some time offline for some circuit prototyping and soldering. But alas, none of that actually matched my stated RetroChallenge I the only one distracted?

Thankfully, Michai Ramakers volunteered to help to move things along by providing some commentary of the documented progress so far. I reviewed his comments, and they seem thoughtful, fair, and supportive. So, I have published them as the "halftime" comments on the entrants page. I hope everyone is as happy with Michai's help as I am -- having a guest halftime reporter may have to become a regular aspect of the competition... :-)

With that said, if you are an RC2018/09 competitor then you have less than two weeks to finish-up and/or reach any "stretch" goals -- I hope you do, because that is the most fun for everyone! So, grab a nap, have a snack, and get back to work...

If you are merely an RC2018/09 spectator, then please do review the entrants page, consider the halftime comments, and check things out for yourself. If you have your own comments or if you just want to cheer-on your favorite project then feel free to comment below. Moreover, if you feel inspired to get out your retro gear and get to work, then welcome to the club!

RC2018/09 will run until midnight on 30 September 2018, and practically anything might happen between now and then. Of course, there is only one way to find-out what happens...stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2018

RC2018/09 is ready to go, go, go!!

Projects have been proposed, preparations have been made...this place about to b-l-o-w!

Hmmm...that song is so old, it is retro...oh, bother...well, no matter!

Heat-up your soldering irons, strip your wires, crack open your programming language manuals and find your CPU reference cards. It's time for the next RetroChallenge event to hit the world! Will this be the best one yet? MAYBE! :-)

Official run time of RC2018/09 will be from 12:00am GMT on 1 September 2018 (i.e. less than three hours from now) until 11:59pm on 30 September 2018. Traditionally, we have granted competitors the courtesy of shifting that time period to correspond with their own timezones, and that courtesy will be observed this time as well for those that so desire.

Alright then, so...ready, steady, go! Do try to have some fun now, ya hear? ;-)